Our Beautiful World

Somalia - Somaliland, Africa
Africa's Horn
In this presentation the expression Somalia covers not only the former Italian and British
Somalia, but the areas where the somalis are living.


When I started working on this page, my intention was to present a short description of
the nature / geography, wildlife and the people of Somalia.
At that time I thought Somalia was just all I had to know about, but now I realize that
Somalia is more than just the former Italian Somaliland.
So now the whole project expands to include the land where the somalis live.
As far as I understand now, this includes both the former colonies, with the french -
which is now called Djibouti, the Ogaden area in Eastern Ethiopia, and the North-eastern
part of Kenya.
This project will therefore not take part in the political situation in the area,
but is to tell you about the nature, wildlife and people.

Initially this was supposed to be included in one web-page only. As the project goes on,
single pages for lions, antelopes, leopards etc are coming up..... What else, we have to see.

The leopard is not as popular in coat of arms or as national symbols as the lion,
but both in Somali, Benin and Gabon as well as in Zaire and Malawi, the leopard is choosed.

Before the 1980ies, Somalila boasted several national parks with cheetahs,
leopards, lions, hyenas and antelopes, attracting hundreds of tourists.
Today, one would be lucky to spot a solitary lion in one of the former parks.
Some National Parks have been turned into a grazing zone for pastoralists.
"They took gazelles, ostriches, kudus, lizards... anything they could find,"
one desperate person said. "They had a ship to take it all back to Qatar."

"Somaliland is still home to more than 600 birds found only here and 580
plant species not found outside the country."

Wildlife on Africa's Horn - click here

© Craig Hayslip, 1997

Speke's Gazelle, Somalia.
© Craig Hayslip, 1997

This species was extinct in the wild, but this was obviously not true when this photo was taken,
although with the problems in the country since then the photographer would be surprised if there
are any left now. There is a few hundred in zoos around the world.

Dung Beetle, Somalia
© Craig Hayslip, 1997

This is a male that has rolled a ball of dung much bigger then himself and is rolling it around in
search of a female. If she is impressed with his ball they will mate and bury the dung which will
be food for the larvae once they hatch

Warthogs on the coastal plain north of Mogadishu, Somalia
© Craig Hayslip, 1997

Young nomad girl leading camels in Somalia.
© Craig Hayslip, 1997

Somali nomad with baby.
© Craig Hayslip, 1997

See the animals at http://www.vulkaner.no/n/africa/somaliwildlife.html

www.ccc.commnet.edu/stuweb/~awali5088/ animalskindom.html

The Somali Agricultural Economics Association(SAEA)

somalinet.com/dir/ ?viewCat=1&start=10


Despite all their problems, they are still able to keep smiling

Somali nomads filling their water containers at well.
© Craig Hayslip, 1997

Botanist Jan Gillet with giant termite mound.
© Craig Hayslip, 1997

somaligallelry 2-5:
db.zorona.com/English/countries/ country.cfm?countryid=17


(Photo: Volker Hüls)www.thw.de/thw-africa/english/ 2002/somalia/meldung01.htm

The highlands, which in an almost continuous line traverse East Africa, have to a great extent
isolated the flora of Somaliland in spite of the general resemblance of its climate and soil to the
country on the western side of the band of high ground. In the northern mountainous regions
of Somaliland the flora resembles, however, to some extent, that of the Galla country and Abyssinia.
On the plateau many forms common elsewhere in East Africa, such as the Borassus palm and
the baobab tree, are missing. The greater part of the country is covered either with tall coarse
grasses (these open plains being called ban), or more commonly with thick thorn-bush or jungle,
among which rise occasional isolated, trees. The prevalent bush plants are khansa (umbrella mimosa),
acacias, aloes, and, especially, Boswellia and Commiphora, which yield highly fragrant resins
and balsams, such as myrrh, frankincense (olibanum) and “balm of Gilead.” The billeil is a thorn-hush
growing about 10 ft. high and covered with small curved hooks of great strength.

The bush contains also numerous creepers, one of the most common being known as the armo.
It is a vivid green and has large, fleshy, heart-shaped leaves. Of the thorns, the guda and the wadi
often grow from 30 to 50 ft. high and have large flat-topped branches. In places there are forests
of these trees. On the summit of the Golis range the cedars form forests. Among the larger trees are
the mountain cedar, reaching to 100 ft.; the gob, which bears edible berries in appearance something
like the cherry with the taste of an apple, grows to some 80 ft., and is found fringing the river beds;
the hassadan, a kind of euphorbia, attainiog a height of about 70 ft.; and the darel, a fig tree.

There are patches of dense reeds, reaching 10 ft. high, and thickets of tamarisk along the river beds,
and on either side the jungle is high and more luxuriant than on the open plateau. Of herbaceous
plants the kissenia, the sole representative of the order Loasaceae, ‘which is common in America
but very rare elsewhere, is found in Somaliland, which also possesses forms belonging to the
eastern Mediterranean flora.

Text about flora from: http://22.1911encyclopedia.org/S/SO/SOMALILAND.htm

Young girl planting corn kernels from UN food rations to grow her thriving plot.

Somalia greens with the rains in the river
valleys of the south, where villages (left) are
home to a minority: tillers of the soil.

Here the nomads are encouraged to settle
and grow food for the nation. But the
pastoral life remains a powerful calling for
most Somalis.

Endless quest for pasture and water
defines the life still hdhered to by
most Somalis, such as this family
crossing a dry riverbed near Bur
Acaba. Symbols of wealth and
status, and never ridden except by
the sick, camels carry disassembled
huts and other supplies.

Slow-motion disaster, thousand of acres of
winddriven sand dunes south of Mogadishu
threaten to engulf villages, roads, and arable
land; the latter comprises only 15 percent of
Somalia's area.

To stem the tide, volunteers are mobilized
together with national rangelandemployees in
a bold effort to stabilize the sand by planting
cactuses and casuarina trees.

Partly Based upon National Geographic, Juni.1981, with photos by Kevin Fleming and Michael S Yamashita

Some places in Somalia are still green, but how will their future be?

Wildlife on Africa's Horn - click here

www.modersmal.lund.se/sidor/ spraksidor/somali.htm
african animals: www.ccc.commnet.edu/stuweb/~awali5088/ animalskindom.html
mer om Somalia (norwegian) http://www.solidaritetshuset.org/x/9906/somalia.html


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